In my immediately previous post, I criticized forced-birth advocates for their cowardice in promoting legislation, nationally and within states, which would punish doctors while absolving women of all responsibility for violation of laws restricting abortion. But not all cowards are Republican.
Donald Trump's State of the Union address was ideologically extreme, extraordinarily self-congratulatory, and boldly dishonest. It also was framed to appear bipartisan, as Grump, wrapping himself "in the same great American flag," declared "all of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family, can do anything" and called on Congress "to craft a bipartisan approach to immigration reform."
In his "response" Joseph P. Kennedy was extremely bipartisan and stunningly empty. In a speech billed as the "Democratic Response to the State of the Union," Representative Kennedy mentioned the name of the fellow who gave that address exactly zero times.
The Massachusetts Democrat failed to addresss issues critical to liberals/progressives and Democrats, including privatization, the minimum wage, and the widening income gap.
He said nothing about Citizens United or the role of money in politics or about voting rights and voter suppression. He uttered the phrases "global warming" or "climate change" exactly as often as he used the word "Trump." He mentioned "an all out war on environmental protection," neglecting to tell us who was waging it.
He advocated "A good education that you can afford," a goal even some conservatives would support in theory. Still, Kennedy said nothing about Betsy DeVos and what she is doing to individuals with student loans while promoting for-profit education scammmers and dismantling public education.
He said nothing about housing and hunger, and the words "poor" or "poverty" escaped his lips with the same frequency as did "Trump."
He sympathized with "the parent who lies awake terrified that their transgender son or daughter will be beaten and bullied at school" but nothing about the parent frightened that an advocate of the Second Amendment- pimped for by the President moments earlier- may one day barge into the school with an assault weapon and cut down her child.
No one wants her transgender son or daughter beaten and bullied but there was no indication that the Massachusetts Democrat wants to hold anyone accountable for that. He'll blame no one, not even a President who moments earlier took credit for "historic actions to protect religious liberty," including the right to discriminate at schools against those same transgendered students.
Congressional Democrats booed when the man whose name was not uttered by Mr. Kennedy remarked "Under the current, broken system, a single immigrant can bring in virtually unlimited numbers of distant relatives." However, the word "immigration" never was mentioned, and the word "immigrants" only once, when the man representing Fall River, Massachusetts and speaking from Fall River, Massachusetts boldly praised "a proud American city, an American city built by immigrants."
He mentioned "Muslim" or "Islamic" as often as he did "Trump." He couldn't muster even a nod to criminal justice reform, stating only "You bravely say, 'me too' you steadfastly say, 'black lives matter.'" Responding to the president who has tried to cut off funding for Planned Parenthood, Kennedy avoided the term "reproductive freedom," instead coming out fearlessly for women's suffrage.
Word has it that Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi chose Joseph P. Kennedy III to represent their party in its non-response to project a younger image. For all those who noticed, the man whom Kennedy was too intimidated to mention and whom he would not criticize was a scant 70 years of age when elected.
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